Palace wishes resigned Cimatu good health | Inquirer News

Palace wishes resigned Cimatu good health

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has resigned due to health reasons, Malacañang confirmed on Friday.

The Palace did not elaborate any further, but acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said: “We wish Secretary Cimatu good health as he transitions from his decadeslong and stellar service in government to private life.”


Nograles said Environment Undersecretary Jim Sampulna has been named officer in charge of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.



Cimatu replaced environmentalist Gina Lopez in 2017 after she was bypassed twice by the bicameral Commission on Appointments, amid her outspoken differences with mining groups.

Lopez, who died two years later, expressed support for Cimatu, saying the post of environment secretary needed “bravery.”

But his lifting only last December of Lopez’s policy banning open-pit mining drew criticism from environmentalists who called it an act of betrayal, even as the mining industry hailed that move.

In 2018, he oversaw the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, which President Duterte ordered closed for six months after describing the popular tourist haven as a “cesspool.”

Cimatu was also in charge of the multimillion-peso Manila Bay rehabilitation project, which included the much criticized move to dump crushed dolomite on its shores, amid shortfalls in the government’s spending in its pandemic response.

‘Let us thank him’Cimatu defended the artificial white beach, saying people were enjoying the area.


Duterte himself praised Cimatu for his work on the Manila Bay.

“For so many years you had every chance to do it. Was there anybody willing to take the problem by its horn? It was only Cimatu, let us thank him,” the President said.

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Cimatu, who turns 76 on July 4, was chief of staff of the Armed Forces in 2002 and one of several retired generals in Mr. Duterte’s Cabinet. He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Magiting” Class of 1970.

TAGS: DENR, Roy Cimatu

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